Getting to Know Philadelphia Alley

 

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By Minta Pavliscsak

If there is one thing Charleston, South Carolina will never be lacking, it is charm. In historic downtown Charleston, every street, store front, restaurant, park, and even alleyway has a way to make you point and say “awe”. Then, as if an automatic response, your camera is out taking pictures before you even realize it.

Follow us as we take a stroll down Philadelphia Alley and see alleyways as only Charleston knows how to do them.

 

 

This charming alley can be found between Queen Street and Cumberland Street. Often overlooked, Philadelphia Alley is one of the many hidden treasures Charleston offers. Dating back to 1776, Cow’s Alley as it was originally called, was access to rental homes behind Francis Kinloch’s house. He renamed it Kinloch’s Court after he widened it.

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This alley has seen two fires in its lifetime, including the infamous fire of 1796, and another in 1810. Holding true to its name, The City of Brotherly Love stood by Charleston’s side by donating?financially to aid in rebuilding this area in 1811.

 

What a more proper thank you than to forever give this beautiful strip of canopy covered, cobblestone refuge from the heat during the summer months, and the best place to listen to the bells of St. Phillips Church the honor of the name Philadelphia Alley.

 

Many locals refer to this passageway as Dueler’s Alley. Back when gentleman settled their disputes with pistols twenty-one paces away, this alley was the perfect setting in Charleston to do so. One of the most famous stories is of one man’s love and what he did to prove said love. Dr. Joseph Brown Ladd, known as the whistling doctor would eventually meet his demise as a result of a duel with Ralph Isaacs in 1786.

 

Many local ghost tour companies will tell the tale of the Whistling Doctor, and some Charlestonians have even said to have heard faint whistling while walking down the alley alone. Today you will find a tranquil, picturesque setting where each person you meet will pass you by with a friendly smile and nod. So as Robert Frost first suggest, take the road less traveled and be sure to explore Charleston’s only Philadelphia Alley.

 

 

 

 

 

Zig Zag Alley: The Littlest Alley That Could (Charleston, South Carolina)

As I entered the tiny little dead end alley, Zig Zig Alley, I was greeted by a warm and gentle older gentleman in a Sunday suit and bow tie and his very cuddly dog.? As the gentleman said good morning and quickly explained that his dog was very friendly, it was too late.? This big fluff ball, not only approached me, but pressed his body against me saying “take me home” without saying a work.? It was the perfect way to enter and explore this quirky named alley just off The Battery.

I can’t tell you exactly where it is except that it is just off one of the side roads of The Battery.? If I told you any more, it would ruin an opportunity to take a Charleston mystery walking tour.? Many locals already know of this fun residential alley.? If you are going to make it a mystery tour, no GPS cheating.

If you have not yet completed your bucket list of visiting all of the alley’s on the peninsula, here is one more and perhaps the littlest one of them all.

Zig Zag Alley

The sign says it all
The street sign says it all

 

This may be the last thing you see as you hit the dead end.
This may be the last thing you see as you hit the dead end.

 

Natural decor around the front porch
Natural decor around the front porch

 

Lamp post and red brick to compliment your walk
Lamp post and red brick to compliment your walk

 

Some modern look as well
Some modern look as well

 

Beautiful tall trees all around
Beautiful tall trees all around

 

A maze design. Fitting for the Zig Zag Alley
A maze design. Fitting for the Zig Zag Alley

 

Now we must depart
Now we must depart

 

Happy Alley Hunting.? Be careful, as you may expect, the road does have a little twist to it.